The Beach Boys

Unsurpassed Masters, Vol. 4 (1963): Miscellaneous Trax

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Volume Four is aptly subtitled "Miscellaneous Trax," as it doesn't focus on a specific Beach Boys album. Rather, the recordings contained on these (and a few subsequent) discs are from various sessions produced by Brian Wilson. This set includes material recorded for and with the Beach Boys and their female counterparts, the Honeys. With Wilson increasing the musical quality control, the songs begin to resonate with entirely new hues and degrees of pre-Beatle pop song brilliance. Owing to the success of Surfer Girl, Capitol Records gave Wilson an opportunity and studio time to produce similar artists. This volume begins with the Honeys' "The One You Can't Have" in a vocal-less karaoke mix and final vocal take. Two other tracks -- "Bobby Left Me" and "(I Can See Right Through You) Go Away Boy" -- are also represented on this collection. However, it is unclear whether vocals were ever recorded. The producer's choice to randomly spread "The One You Can't Have," "Pamela Jean," and "I Do" over both discs (rather than keeping them in chronological order) makes for a rather schizophrenic listen. However, the double-barrel quality of the sound, as well as the material in question, more than make up for any programming oversight. Plus, hey, this is a bootleg after all. "Pamela Jean" was released by a band called The Survivors. Legend has it that after the song was recorded by the Beach Boys, Wilson wanted to release it as a single using the Survivors pseudonym. The familiar opening doo wop intro is a note-for-note copy of "Car Crazy Cutie" from the Little Deuce Coupe album. It's the inclusion of minutiae such as this that gives the Unsurpassed Masters series high marks for completeness. That said, this volume is probably of little interest to anyone but the most academic of fans wanting to chart the ascent of Brian Wilson's production genius.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:30
2 1:02
3 2:39
4 1:48
5 2:16
6 0:35
7 2:19
8 3:19
9 3:26
10 2:16
11 3:02
12 3:15
13 3:09
14 3:15
15 3:15
16 3:03
17 1:16
18 2:36
19 2:30
20 2:25
21 1:47
22 2:38
23 2:32
24 1:58
25 2:18
26 2:20
27 2:16
28 2:10
29 2:05
blue highlight denotes track pick